There's a new Renaultsport Twingo on the way, and its rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout hints at the legendary eighties Renault 5 Turbo.
Renault hasn’t even revealed the standard Twingo yet, but we’ve used insider information and styling details from the Twin-Z and Twin’Run to bring you these images of how the mad new model could look.
It’s set to be the flagship development of Project Edison – that’s the codename given to the new Twingo and Smart ForFour twins, which are being developed by Renault as part of an alliance forged between the two brands.
The standard Twingo is likely to debut at the Geneva Motor Show next March, and go on sale here in the second half of next year. The Renaultsport model will probably appear early in 2015.
While it won’t get the bonkers 3.5-litre V6 used in the Twin’Run, the sporty new Twingo is likely to feature Renault’s 900c three-cylinder turbo, mounted under the boot floor. In standard Twingos this engine will produce 89bhp, but Renaultsport will develop it to around 160bhp, bringing the newcomer in line with the old 5 Turbo.
Combine this power with a kerbweight of around 950kg, a short wheelbase and wide track, and the Twingo RS could be a highly entertaining car to drive – and a bit of handful. As with all hot Renaults, it would be engineered by specialists at the RS factory in Dieppe, where the new Alpine and Caterham sports cars will be built, and where the original 5 Turbo was made.
Expect to see unique suspension settings, quicker steering and additions like the Renaultsport Monitor, which allows drivers to track their performance data. The regular Twingo will launch as a five-door only, and RS models are likely to follow that theme – taking their lead from the latest Clio 200.
The three-door in our images is envisaged as a limited edition that could be built later in the Twingo’s life, featuring more focused chassis settings and even more power – plus an even stronger link to the three-door 5 Turbo.
It’ll be inspired by the three-door Twin’Run concept, although Renault insiders have suggested any decision to make this more focused Renaultsport model will depend very much on demand.
That was the case with 1998’s Clio V6 concept. A production car had never been planned, but the response was so favourable that a limited run was hand-built from 2001 at Dieppe. And the new car would fit Renault’s illustrious rear-wheel-drive hatch past, which was all started by the 5 Turbo.
This car was built to take on the might of the Lancia Delta Integrale on the world’s rally stages, and had a mid-mounted 1.4-litre engine. France’s Jean Ragnotti won 1981’s Monte Carlo rally in the 5 Turbo, while a limited run of road versions captured the imagination of performance fans.